About the book: In this satirical novel, Billy Pilgrim, a naïve optometrist, survives the firebombing of Dresden during World War II, only to be kidnapped by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. He becomes “unstuck in time” and travels back and forth from past to present to future, reliving the horrors of war.
Excerpt: “In time, Montana came to love and trust Billy Pilgrim. He did not touch her until she made it clear that she wanted him to. After she had been on Tralfamadore for what would have been an Earthlong week, she asked him shyly if he wouldn’t sleep with her. Which he did. It was heavenly.”
The controversy: The same school board member in Arlington Heights, Ill., who objected to Toni Morrison’s Beloved also challenged Slaughterhouse-Five. But the book was retained on the Northwest Suburban High School District 214 reading list in Arlington Heights in 2006, along with eight other challenged titles. It was also challenged at a Livingston County, Mich., high school this year because of strong sexual content. In response to a request from the president of the Livingston Organization for Values in Education (LOVE), the county’s top law enforcement official reviewed the book to see whether laws against distribution of sexually explicit materials to minors had been broken. The county prosecutor wrote: “Whether these materials are appropriate for minors is a decision to be made by the school board, but I find that they are not in violation of the criminal laws.” Information provided by the American Library Association and its Office for Intellectual Freedom. Additional research by Miral Sattar.